The Q&A Archives: All Summer Hydrangea

Question: What is the best way to plant this all summer beauty? And how much space should I allow?

Answer: All Summer Hydrangea will reach a mature size of about 5' high and wide. Plant your hydrangea where it will get morning sunshine and either afternoon shade or filtered afternoon sun. If given direct afternoon sun, your hydrangea will wilt and droop during the hottest months of the years. Hydrangea flower colors sometimes change if the soil pH is highly acidic or highly alkaline. All Summer is not stable under these conditions so the blue flowers can eventually turn to pink if your soil is alkaline. To keep the flowers blue, mix some peatmoss into the native soil when planting and mulch with additional peatmoss. You can also feed with an acidified fertilizer in the spring to assure the flowers remain blue.

When planting, dig a hole a little deeper and wider than the nursery pot, rough up the bottom and edges of the hole, unpot your hydrangea and loosen the roots a bit, then set it in the hole, making sure it's resting at the same finished soil level as it was growing in the nursery pot. Fill in around the roots with native soil mixed with a little peatmoss and gently tamp the soil down around the roots. When you've finished planting, water well to help settle the soil. Your hydrangea will appreciate one deep soaking every week. Expect some wilting and drooping immediately after planting. As soon as the roots become established, your hydrangea will perk up and look beautiful. (If it is in full bloom right now, I'd wait until the blooms are spent before planting. Otherwise you'll lose the flowers if the plant suffers from transplant shock.)

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